Tillerson's remark suggests that Trump's approach to the North will be tough and pressure-oriented. He said the $1.35 billion (€1.25 billion) in U.S. aid given to the reclusive Stalinist state over the last two decades was "an encouragement to take a different pathway" but the strategy had failed.
The former Exxon Mobil chief executive gave no details of what steps the U.S. might take.
While Kishida said Japan would assume a larger responsibility in the alliance, Tillerson said it was time for the U.S. to stop throwing money at a solution that's not working.
And back home, arguments raged over his decision to break with 50 years of tradition by refusing to allow the Washington diplomatic press corps to fly on his plane. "We encourage both sides to approach that agreement in earnest and honest efforts to bring this to a conclusion", Tillerson said.
WASHINGTON, March 16 While he has swallowed a big budget cut, had his chosen deputy vetoed, and been dismissed as invisible in his own building, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is playing a patient game to gain influence by avoiding public conflicts with the White House, six current and former USA officials said on Thursday.
As Trump's approach to foreign policy evolves, the concerns about the role of the State Department-and the new secretary of state-only continue to grow.
Tillerson, while keeping a low public profile, appears ready however to cautiously support deep cuts. He will then travel to China, where he is expected to request more help in pressuring North Korea.
"We will do this by reviewing and selecting our priorities, using the available resources, and putting our people in a position to succeed", he said. "We look to China to fulfill its obligations and fully implement the sanctions called for in the United Nations resolutions". United States officials rejected that suggestion.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang said "there are bright prospects for China-US cooperation".
"There's no equivalence between North Korea's illegal missile and nuclear activities and what is our lawful, longstanding joint security exercises with our allies in the region", said Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman, in response to Wang's initial pitch.
North Korea has accelerated its weapons development, violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and appearing undeterred by tough worldwide sanctions.
There, the U.S. is now deploying a controversial missile interception system known as Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence), which could be halted by South Korea's next leader.
In recent comments, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi implied the United States and North Korea were equally at fault and moving towards a "head-on collision".
Washington insists THAAD is a defensive system deployed to protect the South and US bases, but China fears its advanced radar system undermines China's nuclear deterrent.